Search Results: Miami (410)

Porsche_Design_Tower_November_2016Via Wikimedia Commons

This past March 23, singer Alicia Keys headlined the grand-opening party for the Porsche Design Tower, an ultraluxury condominium complex in Sunny Isles Beach built by father-and-son Miami developers (and former Trump business partners) Michael and Gil Dezer. The event was a spectacular display of wealth at the Porsche Tower, a massive steel-gray building filled with spartan German decor, billionaire investors, and elevators that lift whole cars right into residents’ condo units.

Just a few months later, the developers have been tied to an international money-laundering probe in Brazil looking into whether a Brazilian contractor funneled millions into the United States to avoid taxes.

balharbourGoogle Street View

Mention Bal Harbour to a random Miamian, and two things come to mind: an über-luxury shopping mall and one of the most notorious speed traps on A1A. Violent drug-related shootings would certainly not appear on that list.

Yet that’s exactly what Bal Harbour’s small police force — fresh off a house cleaning over a major international money-laundering scandal — has been grappling with for the past two weeks after a 49-year-old man was shot twice in the parking lot of a beachfront condo building.

rincon_final_rgb_cropped_for_homepageCameron K. Lewis

Valentina Villafane was sitting in her second-grade classroom when the tear gas canister exploded. The principal of her private school outside Barquisimeto, Venezuela, saw it first — an errant volley from a national guardsman that flew between the bars of the school’s gate and rolled to the front door. The principal shouted for the students to run to the back of the building as gas plumed at the entrance.

As Valentina huddled with her classmates, teachers brought jars of vinegar from the cafeteria and showed the children how to apply it to their faces to protect against the gas. They waited for hours, trapped as desperate Barquisimetanos clashed with police outside.

“I was scared and I almost cried,” Valentina recalls in a telephone interview from Venezuela–where many live in dire poverty while the corrupt businessman who looted the country live lavishly in Houston and Miami.

kinseyYouTube

Miami-Dade’s top prosecutor, State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle, has recently faced a tidal wave of criticism from police-reform activists for her reluctance to prosecute cops who kill on the job. Today, Rundle did something she’s never done in her 24 years in office: charged an officer for an on-duty shooting.

The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office announced it has charged North Miami SWAT Officer Jonathan Aledda with felony attempted manslaughter and misdemeanor culpable negligence after Aledda shot Charles Kinsey, an unarmed black man, in July 2016. Kinsey was simply trying to help an autistic man, Arnaldo Rios-Soto, out of the street when a bystander called 911 and said Rios-Soto might have been holding a gun. Rios-Soto was, in fact, holding a toy truck when Aledda fired his weapon.

A cell-phone video caught Kinsey lying on his back with his arms in the air, repeatedly stressing he was complying with cops, and begging officers not to shoot just before he was hit.

littlehavanaMiami-Dade Corrections

Going into debt with a drug dealer is never a fantastic game plan. But police say one Miami man who stiffed his connection out of $500 worth of narcotics ended up suffering far worse payback than he ever could have imagined.

The victim, whom police haven’t identified, ended up kidnapped at gunpoint, locked on a Little Havana back patio for four days, and then shot in the head. Amazingly, he survived the ordeal, and police have now arrested four people behind the bloody payback, including a 21-year-old woman who cops say pulled the trigger
willyfalconOrange County Jail/HistoryMiami

Twenty-six years ago, the feds busted Miami’s biggest smuggling operation of the Cocaine Cowboys era: a $2 billion pipeline run by high-school pals Willy Falcon and Sal Magluta. It would take another decade of contentious court battles before the pair was finally convicted, wrapping up one of the nation’s most massive drug cases.

But there was always a loose end. Just before the two were indicted in 1991, Gustavo “Taby” Falcon, Willy’s brother, vanished. He hadn’t been seen since — until yesterday, when federal agents found him in a rented home in Kissimmee. Falcon was nabbed as he returned from a bike ride with his wife and hauled off to Orange County Jail in a neon Nike shirt.
kinseyYouTube

Moments before North Miami Police Officer Jonathan Aledda shot unarmed behavioral technician Charles Kinsey last July 18, another cop on the scene warned there was no gun, only a toy.

After the shooting, an assistant chief repeatedly lied to the police chief, and City Manager Larry Spring ignored vital evidence.

Moreover, the crime scene was mismanaged, and the police department and city government were in disarray and plagued by infighting.

Those are among the stunning revelations in an hourlong audio recording of North Miami Police Chief Gary Eugene’s interview with Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) investigators, which was obtained by New Times Tuesday.

North_Miami_FL_city_hall01Eyabe via Wikimedia Commons

The North Miami Police Department appears to be in complete disarray: In the last two years, the department failed a critical accreditation test and shot Charles Kinsey, an unarmed black man. After audio emerged last week of its chief describing widespread dysfunction among his cops, North Miami officials have been desperately trying reassure the public that the force is fixing its problems.

Amidst all that turmoil, a North Miami cop was arrested Saturday on domestic violence charges. Police say the off-duty officer, Alfred Lamont Bryant, body-slammed his wife to the ground and smacked her head repeatedly on the floor in front of their three children.

 

city-of-miami-police-bill-cooke

South Florida police departments racially discriminating against a person of color? You don’t say!

The Miami Police Department has long been criticized for mismanagement, including by the U.S. Department of Justice, which found in 2013 that Miami PD was regularly abusing city residents and acting with excessive force including during an eight-month stretch when seven black men were fatally shot.

According to a new lawsuit, that discrimination and mistreatment also extended to members of the force itself. In 2015, former Officer Alexis Stevens filed a racial-discrimination case against the city; Stevens said she was harassed, demoted, and eventually fired simply for being black.
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